Article 51, 50-2000 Decree (from Health Code 90-97) regulated smokefree places. It covered health centres, government facilities, educational institutions, and public places such as theatres, airports and gas stations. Restaurants could create separate areas for smokers, provided they occupied no more than 25% of the total area. In February 2009 Article 51 was derogated and Decree 74-2008 came into effect.

Smokefree legislation/initiatives

Smokefree legislation came into force on 20 February 2009. Decree 74-2008 bans smoking in all enclosed public places, including bars and restaurants, all workplaces, and all public transport. DSRs are not allowed. The government has stated that the purpose of the law is to preserve health and protect the non-smoking population.

IMSALUD is working to support the Ministry of Public Health and Social Assistance in the development of regulations and the design/elaboration of an information campaign to support the law’s implementation.

Smokefree resources available in 2009

1. Instituto Multidisciplinario para la Salud (IMSALUD)
2. National Council for the Prevention and Control of Tobacco in Guatemala – the leading civil society coalition of groups working in tobacco control.
3. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) – local country representative – Maggie Fischer

Public education materials/implementation or enforcement materials

There has been no mass media education campaign to date. Restaurant owners have been targeted by means of seminars. Smokefree legislation has received national media coverage.

Needs related to implementing smokefree policies

Guatemala lacks funds to carry out activities, such as advocacy and public awareness campaigns.

Factors helping or hindering the implementation of Article 8
Published data on exposure to secondhand smoke in Guatemala was instrumental in gaining support for the law. It was disseminated in the mass media (Nuestro Diario, largest newspaper in Guatemala) and discussed with legislators in seminars.

Other countries that have influenced smokefree laws

None stated.

First, say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do. Health Service Food and Human Resources: – Duty free store

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